01.02.09e - Binding Arbitration Agreement for Resolution of Impasses Between Board of Directors and Head Start Policy Committee §1301.6

Binding Arbitration Agreement for Resolution of Impasses Between Board of Directors and Head Start Policy Committee Policy Number and Last Update (01.02.09e/04-2019) §1301.6

  1. Clarification of Responsibilities
    1. It is understood and agreed upon, by all parties, that the ultimate fiscal and legal responsibility for the administration of Head Start Programs lies with the ____________________________ Board of Directors for the ______________________________________.
    2. It is also agreed upon and understood that the Head Start program has a representative Policy Committee and that this Policy Committee has authority under Head Start Performance Standards (45-CFR 1301.3) This outlines the management functions connected with the Head Start programs and the degree of responsibility assigned to participating groups. In addition, any other regulations or transmitted notices from Head Start Regional Office(s) must be used as guidelines for the Agency and Committee.
  2. Definition of Impasse
    Impasse occurs when the Agency Board of Directors and the Head Start Policy Committee cannot agree on an issue in the areas in which the Policy Committee has approval or disapproval responsibility as outlined in 642(c)(2)(D). If a disagreement exists in the areas of responsibility of approving or of disapproving in accordance with 642 (c) (2) (D), clarification will be sought from the Grantee Office and an impasse will not be declared until such clarification is obtained.
  3. Impasse Procedures
    Either the Agency Board of Directors or the Head Start Policy Committee declares an impasse. If the Head Start Committee declares the impasse, the Committee will notify Directors in writing of its desire to have the impasse submitted to binding arbitration. The Agency has 15 calendar days to: a) negotiate with the Policy Committee to resolve the impasse, or b) submit the impasse to binding arbitration. If neither of these actions takes place, the Policy Committee, at is discretion, may contact the Grantee to direct the Agency to implement the Policy.
    1. Notice of Arbitration
      When the Board of Directors (hereinafter called Agency) decides to submit the impasse to arbitration, it shall notify the Policy Committee (hereinafter called PC) in writing, that the impasse is to be resolved by binding arbitration. This notice shall include the following:
      1. A statement of the issue or issues which the Agency and PC are at impasse.
      2. The name, address and telephone number of the person it has designated as a member of the arbitration panel.
      3. A request that the PC designate a member of the arbitration panel within 10 calendar days of the receipt of the notice and instruct that individual to communicate immediately with the person designated by the Agency for the purpose of selecting a third member of the panel.
    2. Arbitration Panel Composition
      The arbitration shall be conducted by a panel of three (3) arbiter, one (1) to be designated by the Agency, one (1) to be designated by the PC, and the third, who will be the chairperson of the arbitration panel, to be designated by the other two members. All three (3) arbiters shall be individuals of good reputation and standing within any Head Start service area of counties served, and shall not be associated with any Agency program and not be affiliated, wither through blood or "significant other" status, with any PC members, Agency members or Agency staff members. The third arbiter shall be a person of impartial judgment and good reputation. Efforts will be made to obtain a third arbiter without compensation for labor; however, in the event that no such qualified individual is available, the Agency and Program will equally share any fees. All arbiters will be entitled to reasonable travel and meal expenses, to be shared by the Program and Agency.
    3. Failure to Designate an Arbiter
      Failure by the PC to designate an arbiter within 10 calendar days of receipt of the Agency's declaration of binding arbitration shall be considered default. Failure of the Agency to designate an arbiter within 10 calendar days of their declaration of binding arbitration shall also be considered default.
    4. Third Arbiter
      The two (2) arbiters chosen shall agree on a third arbiter. If the two (2) arbiter, first designated, are unable to agree on a third arbiter who will serve, within 5 calendar days after the designation of the second of them, they will request the State or local bar association to name one if its members who would be willing to serve as chairperson. This time frame may be extended by mutual agreement.
    5. Preliminary Matters
      1. The three (3)-person arbitration panel shall schedule the arbitration hearing within 7 calendar days after the designation of the third arbiter. This time frame may be extended by mutual agreement.
      2. The hearing shall be held in a mutually agreed upon setting with the consideration for the convenience of the parties, but not at the Agency or Head Start Program Offices.
      3. The Agency Board of Directors and the PC are the parties to the arbitration hearing.
      4. The Agency and Head Start Program shall assume reasonable travel and meal expenses entailed by the arbitration.
    6. The duty of the Arbitration Panel is to resolve the issues in dispute as expeditiously and fairly as possible at the minimum expense to the parties involved. The proceedings of the Arbitration Panel shall consist of:
      1. Oral presentation of the PC's position;
      2. Oral presentation of the Agency's position;
      3. Response by both parties to such question as the panel wishes to ask;
      4. Informal cross examination of each party by the other within the limits allowed by the panel;
      5. Such additional presentation of oral or written materials as the panel deems necessary to fully apprise it of relevant facts for an informed decision. The parties may suggest, to the panel, additional relevant witnesses or material that would be helpful to the panel.
      6. If the panel needs additional materials, such as budget statements, Head Start regulations or other materials of that nature, the Agency has the duty to provide the panel with such documents.
    7. Compromise
      The arbitration procedure does not preclude the parties from compromising their differences and reaching a settlement so long as no final decision has been issued by the panel.
    8. Standard of Conduct
      1. Both parties are obligated to operate in good faith before and during the proceedings. Neither party may communicate with the arbitrators once the panel has been selected except at formal meetings attended by all parties. Any attempt to intimidate an arbitrator shall result in a default judgment against the party guilty of it.
      2. Refusal to comply with directions, continued use of delaying tactics by any person at the hearings or other obstructive tactics shall constitute grounds for immediate exclusion of such person from the hearing by the chairperson.
    9. Representation for the Parties at the Hearing
      Both the Agency and the PC shall designate only one (1) of its members to represent them at the proceedings. To facilitate communication, either representative may be assisted for translation/clarification purposes.
    10. Post Hearing Procedures and Decisions
      1. The Arbitration Panel shall issue its decision, in writing, within 10 calendar days after the formal hearings end. Copies shall be sent, promptly, to the Chairperson of the Agency and the Chairperson of the PC.
      2. The final decision shall be binding on both parties and there shall be no appeal.